Steely Conversation

Steely Conversation

The eccentric guy down the road – you know, the one with the neurotic chihuahua – sucked me into yet another one-sided conversation this morning. It’s not that he’s a bad person or anything. It’s just that his chosen topics of conversation are generally of little immediate interest to me, and sprung on me at inopportune moments.

For instance, this morning I was literally running for the tram when this guy sidled up to ask me if I knew where to get the best price on steel tubing. Melbourne trams, as I discovered, don’t wait while you pause to experience conversational bewilderment. Seriously, do I look like I know about metal supplies? I’m a finance consultant, for crying out loud.

 Given that I was going to be late for work anyway, I offered the answer that I know absolutely nothing about sourcing steel products. The guy responded by politely enquiring as to whether I, perhaps, had some leads on metal fabrication services. That gobsmacked me even more. I’d thought my answer to the previous question had clearly implied that I don’t know a steel beam from my left elbow, and have little interest in changing that.

 I’m intrigued to know what people make of all this. Melbourne based steel fabricators might be more frequently sought out than I’ve given them credit for. I mean, I’m sure that people in certain fields of work, like builders, would be familiar with this area and maybe even find it interesting. Surely, though, it’s not common knowledge… or did I miss the memo about the building industry being standard conversational fodder?

Regardless, I spent a further five minutes listening to old mate carry on about his preferences in steel lintels, beams, pipes and plates. By the end of it, despite myself, I admittedly had half a mind to engage in a bit of a handyman endeavour with regard to that roof issue I’ve been having. And, darn it, I spent my tram trip searching for residential structural steel suppliers.

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